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Author Topic: 4 weeks post op acl pain/crutches still  (Read 2649 times)

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Offline Sharky74

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4 weeks post op acl pain/crutches still
« on: March 16, 2014, 07:55:16 AM »
I am over 4 weeks now post op from Hamsting reconstruct. The pain has been brutal, and I am still on crutches with the feeling that I won't be walking anytime soon. Mind you I only had acl surgery. The meniscus and everything else the surgeon claimed was fine.

Originally I was told I would be on crutches a week, climbing stairs in 2 weeks and 4-6 weeks be feeling fairly normal with 9 months to total recovery.

To start things off immediately after surgery my leg was swollen in a serious way. My ankle measured 13" as my opposite ankle measured 9 1/2". The whole leg from my inner groin clear to my ankle turned major black and blue and the pain was literally unbearable and by far the worse I had ever felt in my life. I previously had 2 blood clots in that calf before surgery so was taking warfarin and lovenox for that. As well as continuing them immediately after surgery. I had a massive hematoma that had my whole calf swelled and hard as a rock for the first 3 weeks. Now it is somewhat subsided, but still has about half of it now with a rock like feeling. The doctor keeps telling me its normal
And will subside with time, as well as the pain.

For the first 2 weeks on a scale of 1-10 my pain was a 15! I was taking upwards of 12 percocet AND 12 4 mg hydromorphone daily, and that was barely doing anything. It would allow me to get up and use the restroom or maybe get a bowl of cereal etc, but anything over a few minutes was intolerable! Now it has been over 4 weeks and the pain surrounding the kneecap is brutal. I have cut back on the pills, but am nowhere near getting full extension and the more I try, the more brutal the pain and I just want to give up.

As I said, I am still on crutches and the pain is way more than the surgeon said it would be. Looking for opinions here. Is there a possibility he messed up during the surgery? Is it normal to be on crutches this long after surgery? Should I be experiencing this much pain after surgery? I have been using ice and following strict orders of my pt, but it seems the more I work it, the more it hurts. She says this is normal and is what it is going to take to get full extension.

Sorry to write a book here, but trying to give all the info I can and see if anyone else has had a similar situation with a positive outcome. The bruising has subsided, as well as most of the calf and ankle swelling. The kneecap still looks nothing like the opposite one on my right leg. Should I get a second opinion? I live in a semi secluded area where I would need to fly several hundred miles to do so. This doctor has supposedly done over 400 of these surgery's over a 10 year period, so I didn't really question his credentials, but now I am having my doubts as to if I should have gone elsewhere in the first place. My boss is holding my position at work, waiting for me to heal up, but in this economy that only last so long with demands of customers and lack of help.

Anyhow, any info would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2014, 07:59:34 AM by Sharky74 »

Offline ivery

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Re: 4 weeks post op acl pain/crutches still
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2014, 03:08:25 PM »

I have had acl surgery in both knees. My first was in 2006 and I had serious hell pains for 3 weeks. Especially when you wake up and stand up for a pee, when the blood goes down for the first time that day.

In the clinic i thought it was tortuing they were doing to me..

However, in oct 2012, I had surgery to the other acl in my other knee. and had no pains at all.. this was also with microfracture

I think sometimes a nerve might get hit. You should ofcourse go for an opinion of your surgeon. I had to go in post op 4 weeks, and post op 3 months.

If your pain is such a hell after 4 weeks. Then perhaps something is wrong.

Did you do your sitting exercices the strenghten quadriceps? It might be trombose. blood prop sticking somewhere.. Just guessing wild here.

4 weeks you should be walking without crutches if it was only ACL

Offline Sharky74

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Re: 4 weeks post op acl pain/crutches still
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2014, 07:18:23 PM »
I have been doing the quad exercises, stretches, stationary bike, elevation and really working to get full extension. The first 2 weeks the pain was so excruciating in the calf be it from the blood clots or the hematoma that it did not allow me to do any real exercise whatsoever besides foot pumps and some quad tightening. But as far as any standing at all or going to a follow up (anything where it was not elevated straight up in the air) I would be in serious pain for 4-5 hrs following whatever it was that had me standing.

It has since subsided from that severe pain, but is still nowhere near normal and walking with one crutch is possible. But I can only take that for 1/2 hr at the very maximum. Without any
Crutches is out of the question. The surgeon blames it on the clots and hematoma, which (why would he blame it on anything he may have done wrong?)

Still however the pain on a scale of 1-10 is 8 at best and if I "pill up"(percocet) than it takes it down to a 5-6 range. I am not a pill freak and would rather not take them at all, but honestly without them I certainly just can't tolerate doing much of anything besides having it elevated really high with ice. It is still swollen 2" more than my other knee. (4 1/2weeks now po). Also I still have pain in my ankle that feels like it is sprained. It was fine before surgery and I have not fallen or twisted it in any way. The surgeon claims this is "normal". ??

My surgeon just claims its a "rare" situation and a "slow heal". At this point I am seriously questioning things. There is only a handful of orthepedic surgeons in town and they all work out of the same office, so getting a second opinion from one of them, I am thinking will be worthless. I have only talked to a few folks locally that have had acl hamstring procedures, and none of which have had anything like this.

The more info I can get the better. Should I push exercise more? Stretching more? Pt just wants me to concentrate on full extension, which I am laying on the floor on my stomach and straight leg trying to relax my leg (VERY PAINFUL) and working the stationary bike. Sleeping more than a few hours is near impossible without taking Valium (again I am tired of pills). Just wish I had some more answers. Thanks.

Offline Sharky74

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Re: 4 weeks post op acl pain/crutches still
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2014, 07:55:44 AM »
Pain is still nowhere near "comfortable". It's
Been 61/2 weeks post op. and still on crutches. Doctor
And pt (who work out of the same office) keep saying its a "rare" case
And "your getting better". While it has improved some in six weeks (and I should hope the
Hell so) it is nowhere near pain free and through I stretch and do
Self therapy a minimum of 2 hours a
Day, I still am nowhere near full extension
Or flexion.

Am I the only one who this has happened to? WTF? Getting frustrating and
My calf is still hard as a rock. Not so
Much in the morning if I keep it elevated all night, but after being up on it for a couple hours its near solid
And stays that way until I elevate for a while.

Quite irritating and I am thinking malpractice.

Offline kcknee

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Re: 4 weeks post op acl pain/crutches still
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2014, 02:17:34 PM »
I've yet to meet anyone who had the same horrible recovery from an ACL replacement as I have had, and most likely this is not what you are going through, but I developed compartment syndrome after my ACLr surgery in 2009 and am still trying to get it treated correctly today. I had swelling, tightness, pain stinging and tingling, numbness and problems moving foot. Here is a link to the early days after my surgery so you can see if it sounds similar to yours.

If so, make sure you get the pressure in all 4 of your muscle compartments tested with the Stryker needle test.

« Last Edit: April 01, 2014, 02:19:37 PM by kcknee »
12/31/08 - Skiing injury L knee
6/1/09 - ACL stump removed from joint
8/31/09 - ACLr - Hamstring Graft
12/21/09 - Ant Fasciotomy 
8/26/10 - Anterior Interval Release
12/6/10, 5/5/11, 12/22/11 - Fasciotomy
12/7/12 - Nerve Decompression
6/3/13(m), 7/29/13(l), 12/13/13(m & foot) 2/3/14(l) Fasciotomy